Why see it? Damien Leone’s epic sequel to his own cult horror film shouldn’t be the success that it is — a slasher film over two hours? About a goofy-ass clown? And yet… even if the film isn’t a home run, it’s a wildly impressive feat that never grows dull across its running time. Leone also engages with a building narrative regarding Art and the film’s central protagonist (a terrific Lauren LeVera) and crafts some visually arresting set-pieces. The film’s real magic, though, is Leone’s practical gore effects. The film is loaded with them, but the quality is excellent to the point of delivering some truly unsettling sequences. One bedroom kill is as brutal, bloody, and cruel as you’re likely to find. This isn’t a subtle horror film, and sometimes that’s exactly what you want in your horror.
[Extras: Featurette, interview, commentary]
Nobody’s Fool [4K UHD, KL Studio Classics]
What is it? An old grump decides maybe letting people in is actually a good thing.
Why see it? Paul Newman shines in this late career gem from director Robert Benton. There’s the slimmest of plots here, but the focus is instead something of a meandering ensemble film with Newman at the heart of it all. Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffiths, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Philip Seymour Hoffman all shine thanks in part to such strong material. Richard Russo’s book reaches the screen with an effortless appeal, and watching the movie feels like hanging out with friends and neighbors of all stripes. It satisfies in a big way as numerous threads and relations intertwine, and you’re left with a smile. That’s no small feat. Kino’s new disc carries over a couple extras from Imprint’s Blu-ray debut earlier this year, but it’s the new 4K UHD disc that will catch your eye.
[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary, interviews]
What is it? A troubled young woman seeks out the man she blames for everything.
Why see it? Marie is an angry woman scarred by the suicide of her mother and the second-hand memory of the man she blames — her father. So of course she decides to kill him. Vanessa Paradis stars as Marie and does strong work as a young woman lost in life, comfortable using her body to get what she wants, and angry at the world. Gerard Depardieu shows up past the halfway mark as her father, and Marie’s plan is set into motion with some decidedly French results. It’s an engaging film that never loses your interest with its observations on the families we make, and while the ending doesn’t feel earned it still fits these characters.
[Extras: Video essay]
The Films of Doris Wishman: The Daylight Years [AGFA]
What is it? A collection of films set at nudist camps.
Why see it? The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) concludes their preservation and release of Doris Wishman’s filmography with this look at her early 60s output. Her later career saw her move into rougher sex pictures and genre efforts, but these five films offer up a variety of minor dramas and silly comedies. The common thread sees plots unfolding against the backdrop of nudist clubs — one sees astronauts finding topless aliens living on the moon — and it’s all light stuff. Boobs and butts beneath the Florida sun are the focus, and Wishman captures it all with her usual inattention to detail.
[Extras: Restorations, commentaries]
The Good Book
What is it? A member of the Geek Squad fights evil.
Why see it? Okay, he’s not really from the Geek Squad, but Joe does go around fixing PCs despite the world being overrun by zombies. Things change when “god” shows up with a mission from, well, him. This shot on video effort from 1997 is an ambitious one on the narrative front with an apocalyptic tale touching on religion, global warming, and more. We get a little action, some sci-fi shenanigans, and some fun reveals on the god-front. It’s an interesting effort.
[Extras: New transfer, commentary, documentary, short films]
What is it? The end of this current Halloween iteration.
Why see it? I’m not really a fan of David Gordon Green’s 2018 reboot and like the second film even less, but both still find some success in their slasher elements delivering gory kills and stimulating camerawork. This trilogy capper, however, neglects not only fun slasher vibes and the gory goods, but it also ignores both Michael and Laurie. It is a garbage script that some are praising for its left-field, “big swing” approach, but it’s neither of those things. None of these characters are worth watching, and you’ll want them all dead. Still, as always, I’m happy that John Carpenter collected another fat check.
[Extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes]
I Think We’re Alone Now
What is it? A documentary about two obsessive Tiffany fans.
Why see it? Jeff and Kelly are both fans of popstar Tiffany, and they arguably take that affection too far. This doc explores their individual obsessions, from what they think of her to what they’ve done to stay close to her. Neither seems dangerous in their interests, but audiences will still probably be put off by their behaviors. Tastes may vary, though, meaning some of you will be enamored by these quirky weirdos.
[Extras: Commentaries, featurettes]
Jane By Charlotte
What is it? Charlotte Gainsbourg connects with her mother, Jane Birkin.
Why see it? Like mother like daughter, both Birkin and Gainsbourg found a life in the public eye. That meant less time between them and more opportunity for a reconnection later in life. Gainsbourg documents the two coming back together with a film that feels more like a home movie — one she desperately wanted and needed — than something for public consumption. Both women are engaging personalities, but there’s not much here for viewers to latch onto.
Mind, Body & Soul [Culture Shock Releasing]
What is it? A witness to a satanic ritual is hounded by both the cops and the satanists.
Why see it? Director Rick Sloane is better known for his comedic works like the Vice Academy films, but while filming the third entry in that series he decided to also shoot this thriller using the same cast, crew, and sets. The result ain’t great shakes, to say the least, but fans of these players will find some fun. Ginger Lynn Allen is the witness, Wings Hauser is the lawyer sworn to help her, and between the two of them there was apparently nothing left for the budget itself. It’s ultimately ultra low budget 90s cheese meaning you already know if it’s for you or not. Fans will be pleased, though, as this new Blu-ray features a new 4K scan and a commentary track with Sloane.
[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary, interviews]
Mindfield [Canadian International Pictures]
What is it? A Canadian cop remembers being a CIA guinea pig.
Why see it? While the marketing wants to remind viewers of David Cronenberg’s Scanners with its images of Michael Ironside looking stressed and ready to blow. Instead, Ironside is playing a cop stressed out by memories of being tested and exploited by the CIA. It’s a lowkey conspiracy thriller with a couple action beats including an entertaining shootout in the finale. Canadian International Pictures has quickly become one of my favorite new labels with their efforts to bring older, little-known Canadian films back to life. This is another great release of a film that is a solid watch.
[Extras: New 2K scan, commentary, interviews]
One Hundred Steps
What is it? An idealist stands up to the mob in 70s Italy.
Why see it? There’s nothing surprising or necessarily fresh about this film from 2000, but it tells its familiar tale well. Peppino grows up with a distaste for the mafia, and as a young man he decides to speak out against it. He finds support from the people, but it makes him a target. The film captures the era and atmosphere well offering a period look at societal fear and the oppressive grip organized crime held on Sicily.
Twilight [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A private eye on the downslide gets tangled up in something deadly.
Why see it? Star Paul Newman, director Robert Benton, and writer Richard Russo re-teamed a few years after Nobody’s Fool for this neo-noir, and they once again gathered a stellar supporting cast including James Garner, Stockard Channing, Reese Witherspoon, Liev Schreiber, and more. The end result, though, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s meant to be a mystery of sorts, but there’s no wonder or suspense to it. We know what’s up seemingly before the characters, and worse? We don’t care. It’s a shame, as again, this cast is aces.
Also out this week:
The Girl and the Spider, The Icarus Line Must Die, The Lair, Laws of Gravity, Mardi Gras Massacre, Sell Out, White Reindeer